Ch2 9

Peter|GM: Morning at the tavern of the Ecafan dock district: Silk pillows, the gentle drifting of sleepers from sleeping quarters. Spiced lentils and strong coffee.
Peter|GM: Morning means options, beginnings.
Peter|GM: - You can have paid 20G to have full rested,
Peter|GM: - There's a black market appointment you might wish to play out.
Peter|GM: - There were plans to raid the Ecafan treasury for the Devil's Nail.
MiRA-[CLE] makes her way down to the tavern after waking up from their night at the inn. She's glancing around curiously at everything and constantly sniffing at the air as she makes her way over towards familiar faces. "You know… everything around here sure does *smell* a lot."
Peter|GM: Mira: It does. Detergent, bodies, cologne, wood-smoke, cumin and paprika.
Hayreddin paid 20G to have full rested! Also there's a black market appointment he wishes to play out.
Hayreddin: "Do the stars float about, scentless?" he asks, nursing a hot cup of tea.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Well I mean, I was… born(?) in a steril room and then it was mostly a lot of running to the drop pod from there so there's wasn't really much time to get used to the sense."
Elbereth makes her way into the tavern before giving a small nod. "Master Hayreddin, World Savior."
Lobelia yawns, her coffee not quite kicking in yet. "Enjoy it for now. Ecafa's quite sanitary. I've been to some places that don't keep their streets as clean, that will make you wish you had no smell sense."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Oh yeah. When I was making some more rounds through town again to sell off all of that junk you guys were luggin' around, that uh… Countess Hundred lady invited me to a thing."
Hayreddin: "Good morning Madam Elbereth, Madam Lobelia." He turns back to Mira. "Oh? What kind of thing?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "There were a lot of vagueties involved but I think it might have been to some kind of underground, uh store, or auction or something."
Hayreddin replaces his teacup back to the table before nabbing a breakfast pastry. "Vaguities are still involved, it sounds," he teases with a chuckle.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Yeah."
Hayreddin nods. "Then we'll make an appearance. It would be conspicious to perform our task during the sunlight…" He munches on the pastry.
Elbereth: "What are you hoping to accomplish by going there, if I may ask?"
MiRA-[CLE] rolls a shrug. "Never hurts to see what's available and possible get some more information. I mean, that sort of meandering about helped get us on that party boat."
Lobelia makes some noises that sound vaguely like 'morning'. "I've done my shopping for now. However, you won't need to try hard to convince me we need knowledge of this treasury. I'll come on your shopping trip to help with that."
Peter|GM: Heading to the Black Market?
Elbereth is at least.
Hayreddin is!
MiRA-[CLE] stuffs a couple of pastries into her pocket, along with one for her mouth as they head out.
Kit squirms about in Lobelia's bag, before popping her little head out, followed shortly by her bother's. "Hmmm, what's this about shopping?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Hey, Lobelia."
Hayreddin peers down at the dolls. "Were you in the market for contraband, your chance is rapidly approaching."
Peter|GM: The rafters of the second floor of the strides. Planks are more reinforced than they look, loosely strung with guide-rails. Young thieves play at hopping about off the pathways. It's steaming hot and fragrant here:
MiRA-[CLE]: "There's a talking stuffed animal poking out of your pack?" She gives it a curious look.
Elbereth: "A familiar of sorts, World Savior."
Peter|GM: Beneath, workers as shrouded as lepers stir massive glue-pots with tremendous stir-spoons, boiling vats.
Peter|GM: Mostly glue, but some other things, too.
Elbereth: "They come and go as they please."
Lobelia: "Need something?" She looks down. "That's Kit. And that one's Kat," she says, after giving the fox a moment to peek out as well.
Peter|GM: On precarious-looking platformers, veiled and disguised agents offer goods from distant lands.
[OOC] Peter|GM: Sells contraband, especially pharmaceuticals.
[OOC] Peter|GM: Oh, and arms and armor, since those are hard to get here.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Aha. Neat."
Kit and Kat both look over to MiRA, blink, then a little wooden stick pops out and waves
MiRA-[CLE] then gets distracted by the various wares and starts browsing through them, not entirely sure what any of this stuff does.
Peter|GM: At the far end of the market, Counting Three holds court - a Rat-Hundred smuggler queen, styled in scintillating, ruffle-collared gown - Longlollan, probably - , fanning herself with phoenix-feathers. A one-armed musician serenades her.
Elbereth eyes the wares with a hint of interest. But for the most part she is simply killing time here since she had nothing better to do until nightfall.
Hayreddin weaves about through the market, looking for paper information- maps.
Peter|GM: Crates of Imperial pharmacy are popular. The haggling over them, in hushed voices, is furious nonetheless -
Peter|GM: Hayreddin: Asking around a bit, you get directed to a green-haired, green-eyed woman. She wears emeralds, a shelf behind her is piled high with scroll-cases. She permits no inspection.
Peter|GM: "Architecture?"
Kit looks around like a child in a candy store, excited to see all the wares. But she has eyes for something unique, and could possibly improve her Manna Spark…
Hayreddin: "Municipal."
Peter|GM: Kit: Indeed, a salvage-captain - strictly legal, of course, all licensed - has an array of gathered parts, some of which are exactly the focusing-crystals you were hoping to see.
Hayreddin: "Imperial barracks, as they're now called."
Peter|GM: The scroll-seller considers Hayreddin. She lays out closed scrolls, begins to count out - and then, returns all but one.
Peter|GM: "Forty."
Lobelia goes looking for some books. Maybe some Ecafan history behind the building, or barring that, something to add to her enchantment-analysis collection.
Kit tugs on Lobelia's sleeve. "Ms. Wintervine?, could I go see that stall?" and she points towards the Savage Captain's stall with her staff
Hayreddin considers the scroll-seller and the remaining scroll.
Lobelia pauses for a moment. "Hm. Yes, that's fine. I had somewhere in mind, but I'm in no rush. I'll search it out after." She approaches the salvage captain, popping open her pack and placing it next to the captain's counter for the dolls to climb onto.
Peter|GM: "Familiars, hm?" The salvage-captain pushes at Kit's cheek a little. "Quite well made."
Kit claps, "thank you!" and where Lobelia's place the bag close to the counter, Kit and Kat hop out. "Oh, why thank you sir. and I see you have some focusing crystals, I was wondering if I might perhaps be allowed to give them a closer inspection?"
[OOC] Kit: When*
Hayreddin pays for the scroll. "Many thanks."
Lobelia smiles to the captain. "Don't mind me, just a taxi of sorts." She idly glances around the wares, then at the marketplace itself for a while.
Hayreddin opens it up and gives it a quick scan, as well.
MiRA-[CLE] glances over at Hayreddin from a crate of vials she's looking through. "What'dya get?"
Peter|GM: The captain looks, mostly at Lobelia, and then, after some prodding, does acknowledge Kit - "Sure, be my guest."
[OOC] Peter|GM: Yup, they're your parts. 20G, right?
[OOC] Kit: 25G
[OOC] Peter|GM: Thanks! And yes.
Peter|GM: The map unfurls, in loose, hasty ink:
[OOC] Peter|GM:
Peter|GM: …The upper-left corner has some wet spots on it.
Kit looks at them closely for a few moments, then selects one with a slight violet hue, that deepens as it gets to the centre of the round concaved shape… "This one should do, how much would it be sir?"
[OOC] Hayreddin: moist-wet or wet ink
Peter|GM: Hayreddin: Moist-wet, fussed over somewhere damp.
Peter|GM: Water stains.
Peter|GM: Dry now, but.
Peter|GM: Kit: "Twenty five gold should suffice."
Peter|GM: And, to Lobelia: "…You let them have money?"
Hayreddin: "Information. With a perch, we can discern more specifics of the layout."
Kit nods, and manages to pull enough coinc out from one of the pockets on her belt. "Oh, she's not my mistress, just a friend"
Lobelia: "You work hard, you get paid. Isn't it the way of the world, sir?" She smiles.
[OOC] Kit: Coins
Peter|GM: A little seen-it-all eyeroll, but he hands over the part.
Elbereth: "Useful if we do not wish to backtrack. But we are still going in blind if we do not know where the relic lays."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Aha. Does it say what those markings all mean or…?"
Hayreddin moves and talks at the same time, in hushed tones. "Infiltration is part of the challenge, as the Imperials set up camp right upon it."
Kit slips the part into a different pocket for now, she'll install it when she has more time, then her and Kat hop back into Lobelia's bag. "Thanks again Ms. Wintervine!"
Hayreddin: "It is not perfect, but what is?"
Lobelia: "You're quite welcome." She departs from that shop, resuming her search for a shop dealing in books.
MiRA-[CLE] nods a few times, then heads on over to at least say hello to Counting Three. Would be rude not to!
Peter|GM: Lobelia, then Mira.
Hayreddin: "What do we know of the item we are searching for, anyway?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Some kind of cursed spear."
Peter|GM: There is, in fact, a bookseller. The books are suspended on ropes, bound intricately over a vat of boiling water. Red-hooded and slumped, it's impossible to sell who could be underneath that cloth.
Elbereth: "Our client wishes for it to be destroyed, not retrieved. I am inclined to agree."
Peter|GM: The voice is androgynous and as dry as a desert.
Hayreddin: "…is that all?"
Elbereth: "That was their only condition for securing us passage. He seemed to imply that once the relic was destroyed however we have to leave Ecafa immediately."
Peter|GM: "Seeking knowledge forbidden, are we?" A limb lifts beneath the cloth, waving a chiding finger. "I saw your eyes stop. I could push these books to and fro and watch you play the clock-cat."
Hayreddin: "I mean, is that all we know of the item?"
Peter|GM: She points them out, one by one: "Something holy, something hot, something secret, something lost. Something dead, and… something dying."
Lobelia raises an eyebrow, but otherwise assumes they know what they're doing with humidity levels. "More out of concern than curiosity, I'm afraid. You've got a unique way of keeping them… Secure."
Peter|GM: A lift of the cloth, enough to show a curved knife, next to a handled hook.
Peter|GM: "Can't be caught holding these."
Elbereth: "It is referred to as the Devil's Nail. The name of the artifact should suffice."
Hayreddin: "Were names the only avenue which mattered, Madam World Savior would have broken the yoke of the Imperials already."
Peter|GM: "Sixty-six gold." [They're all exciting, but none of them seem Ecafan, so they might not be relevant for this…]
Lobelia nods. "It's all quite clear now. Hm- for that price, you're surely selling me the full collection… aren't you?" Smiles.
Peter|GM: "Do I look like I'm retiring…?" Charm: [Don't accrue heat] [Reduce the price of books by 10G per spent success, as long as you pay at least 50]
Lobelia: "Each hour you leave them unsold is another hour you risk losing your investment, my friend, not to mention less kindling for your pot. I'm sure that alone will make giving me a discount pure profit." Smiiiles.
Lobelia rolled 6d6 and got 3, 6, 3, 6, 5, 6 ( Total: 29 )
Elbereth blinks before shaking her head. "My apologies. I do not have much more information to give on the artifact other than the fact that it is Pheros born and the imperials value it."
Peter|GM: She snorts and grabs her hook, starts to pull the books over to the platform, grumbling. "Proper Seraifan girl would never wag her tongue like that…"
Hayreddin tilts his head slightly in assent. "A name is still helpful, for now we understand where to shine the light. Hopefully, it is a local legend."
Lobelia: "Proper, me? I could pass for that if I wanted to, but most days, I simply don't." She pulls out her purse. "50G and I'll take them off your hands. Sound like business to you?"
Peter|GM: A little laugh. "Business it is." She cuts the books down one by one and hands them over.
Peter|GM: "Ah,"
Peter|GM: "You'll need a satchel, girl."
[OOC] Peter|GM: A Satchel Full Of Banned Books
Lobelia bows, smiles, and thanks the shopkeep. "May your day be blessed." She then departs to reuinite with the group.
Elbereth: "I admit I would be more interested in this market had I any money left to my name. I'm afraid I spent it last night already."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Is food THAT expensive?" Mira looks at Elbereth, a bit bewildered.
Elbereth chuckles slightly before smiling. "Not quite so, World Savior. I simply spoiled myself a little with expensive things."
Hayreddin starts asking around, rumors about curses, or legends about weapons.
Peter|GM: Hayreddin: I see that as Streetwise, personally, unless you're asking openly - then it's Charm. But I owe Mira a scene!
Peter|GM: So, Mira's heading up to Counting Three. She can easily be joined.
[OOC] Hayreddin: right do hers
Elbereth has been following the robot around for the most part.
Hayreddin will stick to Mira's side for now! Gotta stick together.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Yo."
Peter|GM: At the far end of the Black Market, Counting Three smiles. One fang is golden. Her fur is white and immacculately trimmed, her voice trained to high court accentless.
Peter|GM: She points her fan at Mira.
Peter|GM: "Falling star."
Peter|GM: "Not finding the market displeasing, I hope?"
MiRA-[CLE] shakes her head. "Naw, it's pretty cool. Some of my new friends found some stuff they wanted already!"
Peter|GM: "You make friends quickly. I was a bit surprised to see our city's newest novelty so well accompanied."
MiRA-[CLE]: "I'm very charismatic." Mira smiles.
Peter|GM: She leans forward, covers her face with a fan, but her muzzle sneaks out of the side of it. Her voice drops. "-and, ehh, our masqued friend hasn't forgotten his debt, has he? Course he hasn't."
Peter|GM: She shuts the fan with a snap, suddenly Duchess-Elegant again.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Debt?"
Peter|GM: "Certainly you are. You've the figure for a figurehead, my dear, should any boats be so blessed."
Lobelia: "Kit, if there's enough light in there, feel free to grab one of the books out of the satchel if you'd like to check them out. I think I'm going to lend the one on Shangri-La to Elbereth tonight." She finds a place to sit down, place her pack and her books on a table, order something baked and sweet for lunch, and then- "Hmm… I suppose I'll start with… the Chronicles of a Fallen Traveler."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Oh right, the uh, Lucha thing right?"
Peter|GM: "He needed a pittance of funds for a most heroic mission -" Fan snaps open. "-The ass-busting kind of pittance, that is-" And shut. "Yes, that little matter."
Peter|GM: "It makes my heart glow with pride to know the ocean's great hero survived it."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Yeah that's already done and wrapped. Turns out she was actually a bunch of gross ass bugs stacked on top of one another? I think someone said she was an… If-ys," Mira rolls the unfamiliar word around in the mouth, "Or something."
Peter|GM: "OH, oh, ohhohohoho, you mistake me. As happy as that recent strange happening is, my beloved friend's debt occurred some time earlier."
Peter|GM: "An if-ys…?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Oh." Then a nod in response to the question.
Peter|GM: "How strange."
MiRA-[CLE]: "It really was!"
Kit: "Oh, ok… So uh, what's with everyone calling that weird human looking doll World Savior? It's not just because it's written on her coat, is it?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Anyway as for the pirate… he didn't mention any other debts to me at least, but he strikes me as the sort of guy that don't really forget a debt or a grudge, and the kind of person that needs their reputation to work, so… he's probably good for it?" Mira turns her hands up slightly towards the Countess.
Peter|GM: She kisses the jeweled rings of her knuckles, gesturing to Mira with courtly grace. "I'm truly, truly not worried. He and his crew are beloved of me, and I hold something beloved of his, and so we shall negotiate marvelously."
Peter|GM: "You're saving the world, mm?"
Lobelia: "Well… She's no exotic courtesan. I tried that title once, when I was guessing what her…" A vague hand gesture, "purpose in life is, going by how she's dressed. She took offense to it. So, we're settling for World Savior. I don't think you can blame me, most of our team dresses for our respective callings, do we not?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "That's the plan, yeah. There's an incoming fleet of… you guys call 'em Patron's, I guess, inbound. And I mean to make sure this planet is ready to fight 'em off when they arrive."
Kit picks up one books as she asks, and reads the title to herself before flipping the book over and again, then purses her lips as she opens to the first page. "Huh, this one has no author listed… Ok 'Mud Thoughts', you have my interest"
Elbereth: "Should he wish to settle a debt I would hope he does so quickly. I do not intend to wait long to conclude our business in Ecafa."
Hayreddin brings a hand up to his jawline, idly rubbing it while studying the throned smuggler.
Peter|GM: "The Patrons are returning…? You know, if you said that in Ivique, they would be shuddering in holy euphoria in the streets for days."
Kit: "Ahh, I see…"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Sounds like the people in Ivique are idiots or Fiends, then. 'Cause the Patron's sure as shit aren't friends to the natives."
MiRA-[CLE]: "They're just here to mine the planet for resources and don't particularly care who they need to subjagate or kill to do it."
Hayreddin: "It would not surprise me to hear of a twisted history passed down by the survivors of those once under Patron rule."
Hayreddin: "Of where it starts and stops, though…"
Peter|GM: "Teach your fallen star the meaning of the word heretic before she learns it from shouts and torches, mm?"
Elbereth bows her head slightly. "As you wish."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Psh."
Elbereth: "I suspect our travels will take us there eventually."
MiRA-[CLE]: "They can be educated when we get there then."
MiRA-[CLE]: "Or liberated, as needed."
Peter|GM: "The liberation of Ivique…" She giggles coquettishly behind her fan, as if something was very funny.
MiRA-[CLE]: "Oh, are they not under imperial rule…? 'Cause the way things are shaping up, I think I'm going to need to oppose them, too."
Elbereth: "We will likely take passage through the city if we seek to pursue Pheros. But you may wish to not turn the city against us so hastily upon entry. They would have no qualms at proclaiming you to be a foreign entity sent to stray them from the beaten path."
Peter|GM: "The Imperials aren't patron-lovers. The Iviquans are. That makes the thought of 'liberation' a little tricky."
Hayreddin: "Is something particularly interesting about Ivique besides the belief system?"
MiRA-[CLE]: "Ah. Hmmm."
Peter|GM: "Scholars and monks all in their mountainous monastery."
Peter|GM: "With an infinite appetite for the leavings of the arcolith."
Lobelia carefully finishes off her sweet pastry - not a crumb on the book -, letting a comfortable silence fall on the table. The chatter of the market is in the background, the sound of flipping pages in the foreground, passing some time until the party is ready to reunite.
Elbereth: "It's not far from here, truth be told. The Vagabond road seperates Ecafa and Ivique. And past that, the Imperial capital itself. A road we are avoiding for the time being. Dremeos is a much safer destination."
Hayreddin: "I see."
Peter|GM: "Dremeos? Landing at Fearnought?"
Elbereth nods. "In due time."
Hayreddin had turned to look at Elbereth, but then eyes back to Counting Three, gauging her intent at the question.
Peter|GM: Hayreddin: Likely just idle chatter, but… Insight: [You know], [She doesn't know you know]
Hayreddin rolled 5d6 and got 1, 3, 3, 3, 3 ( Total: 13 )
Hayreddin will [-4 LP] that. She asks a lot of questions.
Hayreddin: "All things in due time." He puts his hands within his sleeves, bowing slightly to the smuggler. "We shall take our leave, Madam Counting Three. Thank you for your insight and court."
Elbereth is pretty forthcoming with information all things considered. She doesn't seem like the type to lie. But she isn't going to elaborate further unless prodded more.
Peter|GM: "Thank you for your irreplaceable and ever-charming presence." She bows and excuses them.
MiRA-[CLE] gives a nod, before turning and chasing after Hayreddin.
Elbereth bows one last time and leaves last.
Peter|GM: Up in the vaults sits the Ecafan Treasury.
Peter|GM: (That is, the highest district of Ecafa, its hills and manors.)
Peter|GM: Ascending the street towards it, you spy it from good perch:
Peter|GM: Bordering one of the little valleys through which the ancient waterways run, the Treasury of Ecafa is built like a fort, despite its gleaming onion-domes and its latticed windows.
Peter|GM: There's heavy guard - a Hundred, even! - at the front of the treasury building, and even that is surrounded by a wall.
Peter|GM: The lattices of the window are dark wood, gleaming in the lights that shine late into the night.
Peter|GM: What secrets does this jewel of the city hold…?

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